Honda will drop a second shift auto production line at Marysville Auto Plant in response to market conditions that have lessened the demand for cars.
Associates were informed of the production adjustment Thursday afternoon during the shift change. The new production schedule will start Aug. 1 and continue indefinitely with the hope of resuming production within a few years.
In a statement, the automaker said, “The change will enable the plant to align supply with current market demand and utilize this period to update manufacturing capabilities to prepare for new technologies including electrification.
“No immediate impact on employment is expected as workforce adjustments will be managed through attrition of the company’s current workforce.
“This temporary change also will impact production at the Anna Engine Plant and at Honda Transmission, as well as our suppliers and logistic companies.” Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. spokeswoman Anita Sipes said part of the workforce adjustments could mean associates are given production positions at other plants and other shifts.
She said the manufacturing leaders continue to study how the production adjustment will affect the Anna plant and the transmission plant in Russells Point.
American Honda Motor Co., the automaker’s sales arm, has seen increased demand for sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks in the past year.
“Honda remains committed to a robust sedan business as passenger cars remain popular, particularly among young and multicultural car buyers, who are critical to Honda’s future,” the automaker said Thursday. “An analysis of industry sales data supports this direction, as 55 percent of first-time car buyers purchase a passenger car, while that number jumps to 70 percent for Gen Z buyers.”
Honda’s production philosophy is to build the products customers want in facilities near the market. Production is shifted along the flexible manufacturing lines to meet dealership inventory demands.
During the second shift line shut down, Honda will use the time to implement new technologies and prepare for new products.
There are 4,700 production associates at MAP. After Aug.1, production will continue with one shift on Line 1 and two shifts on Line 2.
Honda is not saying how many associates work the second shift of Line 1.
The Marysville Auto Plant currently produces the Honda Accord, Accord FHEV, Honda CR-V, Acura ILX and Acura TLX, while Line 2 builds only the Honda Accord.